West Sussex County Council

Gordon McAra - West Sussex County Councillor

West Sussex County Council provides services for 750,000 people in an area which stretches along the coast from Emsworth to Shoreham and its northern boundary stretching from Rake to East Grinstead. Its responsibilities include highways, education, social services, libraries, fire & rescue and minerals planning (in partnership with SDNPA).

Contact details: gordon.mcara@westsussex.gov.uk



The Rt Hon Andrew Tyrie - Member of Parliament

Contact details: office@chichesterconservatives



West Sussex County Council - News articles

Follow the LEADER - funding available to help rural businesses grow (30 January 2017)

There’s still funding available for small rural businesses and community groups to apply for with the LEADER grants scheme.

Farmers, foresters and communities based in rural areas of West Sussex, Lewes district and Hayling Island can benefit from LEADER grant funding totalling around £2.6 million until September 2018, and possibly beyond. Grants are available for capital investments for projects that will create jobs and grow the rural economy.

West Sussex County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith said: “The LEADER fund is an important source of grants available to our many rural communities. It’s there to benefit and boost businesses and community groups.

“We know from the previous LEADER programme that this funding has been so very helpful for people developing their businesses and has been much appreciated.

“If you think you’d benefit from a grant, maybe you want to recruit new staff or grow your business, then I would encourage you to apply. Who knows where that extra bit of funding could take you and your business.”

Under the current scheme, a total of £380,000 has so far been awarded to 13 projects in this region, creating 25 full time jobs over the next three years.

One such project is local wine producer Tinwood Wine Estate, near Chichester, who invested their grant in the construction of three vineyard lodges – giving visitors the choice of an overnight stay and a five star view of the vines.

Estate owner Art Tukker said: “We first saw the concept in Australia and New Zealand and thought it would be wonderful to bring back here.”

“Without the funding our business plan would never have been able to get off the ground.”

The owners of Holmbush Farm, near Crawley, were another successful applicant who used their grant to purchase a forestry harvester head with an on-board computer plus hard-standing at their wood-yard. The project has increased the volume of woodchip and green waste able to be processed and created an additional full-time job.

For more information and for details on how to apply, visit the Business West Sussex website at www.businesswestsussex.co.uk or call the LEADER team on 0330 22 28001.



Consultation on the future of the 3in1 card scheme

West Sussex County Council has announced that the 3in1 Card scheme will end on 31 December 2016.

This was a very difficult decision to make but the County Council had to look at the cost of running the overall scheme against the number of people who use it (5% of the eligible population) and the ever growing pressures on other areas of our work – especially across our children’s and adults’ services. It has therefore been decided that the 3in1 card scheme, which costs £1.2m a year, will cease at the end of this year.

We are taking steps to mitigate the loss of the 3in1 card for existing users when it comes to an end. Discussions are already taking place with bus operators, schools and colleges to consider future travel concessions in the absence of the scheme.

Help will be available for young people from low income families aged up to 16 years old (Year 11 and below) subject to eligibility criteria. We will also continue to provide some financial support for 16-19 year olds from low income families who use bus travel to attend full time further education. Further information on the help for low income families will be announced later this year.

We have recently written to all 3in1 Cardholders to inform them of this decision and what to do next. Applications to the scheme will continue to be accepted until the end of the year and will cost £13 unless low income fee exemption applies. All cards will be given an expiry date of 31 December 2016.

Further information is available at



Adult social care update March 2016

A message from the cabinet member
Welcome to my first newsletter of 2106. In 2015 I reported on many of our successes over the past year and this newsletter continues to highlight excellent practice and our genuine commitment to working in partnership with our customers and carers to both develop and quality assure our services.
Budgetary pressures remain and further reductions in Government funding mean that we continue to face a challenging situation.  Despite that I’m pleased that the budget agreed by the County Council on 19 February achieves a significant reprioritisation of resources towards adult social care.  In all, an extra £17m has been allocated for 2016/17, mainly to recognise the impact of demand pressures and the National Living Wage.  This will result in our budget rising by 6.5%, part of which will be funded by a specific 2% increase in council tax to support adult social care services. This doesn’t absolve us of the need to deliver savings nor does it follow that the outlook for the budget has suddenly become easier. If we are to do that we must find ways to deliver social care more sustainably and so enable people to live independently in line with the County Council’s Later Life priorities. With that aim in mind we will be enhancing our prevention and wellbeing services and working towards greater collaboration and integration between health and social care.  
Over the past year social care staff have consistently proved their dedication to providing high quality support to our customer and carers and I’m looking forward to working with them and our partners in the coming year to build on the successes of 2015.  

New Director of Adults Services

I am delighted to welcome Mark Howell as the new Director for Adult Social Care. Mark joined us as Director of Adults’ Operations on 16 February, bringing with him a wealth of experience from his 30 years of local government experience. He brings a track record of delivering Adults’ social care services in a challenging financial climate through partnership working with CCGs and Health Trusts. The need for transformational change to meet the increasing demand on the health and social care economy will be familiar territory for Mark and I am looking forward to working with him over the coming year.


Care Month communications campaign gains national exposure
Our Care Month campaign was held during October 2015 to showcase the care and information available to residents and to emphasise the benefits of seeking early advice to help remain independent for longer. I’m delighted to report that the campaign has been selected by the Local Government Association to appear on its Innovation Database which highlights best practice in Local Government.

For further information please view the database here http://www.local.gov.uk/innovation.

Shared Lives
We recently launched a campaign to increase the number of carers for our Shared Lives service. The scheme supports people with learning difficulties and people with dementia, by matching them with approved and trained Shared Lives Carers. We’re particularly looking for carers to support people who have dementia.  

If you would like any supporting materials such as leaflets, postcards and posters, please contact Kelsey Stubbs at kelsey.stubbs@westsussex.gov.uk or call 0330 2225876.


Party time for Mabel as she reaches her 107th birthday
One of West Sussex’s oldest residents celebrated her 107th birthday on 5th February. Mabel Law, who is thought to be Crawley’s oldest resident, spent her birthday celebrating with family and other residents at the Shaw care home Burleys Wood. It’s extraordinary to think that when Mabel was born King Edward VII was on the throne and suffragettes were campaigning for women to have the vote. I was delighted to visit this remarkable lady on her birthday to chat and wish her many happy returns.

Social care Roundtable Meeting
After discussion with customers and carers about creating a forum where they could meet with County Councillors to share views and discuss current local and national issues, I was pleased to establish the Social Care Roundtable. There have now been two meetings, one in October 2015 and more recently in early March.  There was lively debate during the meetings around a number of issues including choice and control in care and support planning and social isolation in minority and ethnic communities. All agreed on the success of the forum and we are planning to meet three times a year. For more information please contact Ruth Corden at email ruth.corden@westsussex.gov.uk or call 0330 2223705.

Involving customers and carers in Adults’ Services quality assurance  

Adults’ Services holds co-production in high regard and we have long-standing channels for engagement in place. Last year we decided to involve customers and carers in reviewing the standard of services being delivered to them and a series of focus groups were held during August and September last year to get their views on how we should go about this. Based on their feedback we are now seeking comments from a much broader range of customers and carers, via the national service user survey (February/March 2016) and the carers national survey (October/November 2016).  Informed by the results of the surveys, recommendations will be submitted to the Adults’ Services Quality Assurance Management Board.


New Carers Support Group for LGBTQ carers
As well as the same challenges, worries and frustrations as any other unpaid carer encounters, LGBTQ ( lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer/questioning) carers may face additional anxieties and decisions when considering asking for help. With support from the County Council, Carers Support West Sussex has developed a new support group for people who are, or who care for, LGBTQ people. The group offers a safe space to talk, share experiences, and get information and support. Download and share the flyer from here.

Building Carer Friendly Communities
For Carers Week 2016 (6 - 12 June) we are asking individuals, services and businesses to help us build Carer Friendly Communities – places where local people and services support carers to look after their loved ones, while recognising that carers are individuals with needs of their own.Building Carer Friendly Communities is not instant, but we'll get there - brick by brick. Get involved and pledge your support by adding your brick now.


West Sussex County Council Membership of the Dementia Action Alliance

In 2010, the National Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) was formed to tackle the lack of understanding about dementia nationally and the stigma attached to the condition. The County Council will be supporting this work by signing up to the National Dementia Declaration.  We have developed a draft action plan which is being shared with customers, carers and stakeholders for their views and once it has been finalised it will be published on the Dementia Action Alliance website.

Henfield Haven – Day activities, classes and social care all under one roof
A new venture run by a newly formed Community Interest Company, Henfield Social Enterprise, opened on Friday 4 December 2015. With more than 80 local volunteers signed up to support the centre, the Haven provides support for people with dementia, carers,therapies such as osteopathy, and activities and classes including, yoga, crafts and music.  Formerly Henfield Day Centre, the service and building was handed over to the community by the County Council. To find out more call 01273 494747 or email enquiries@henfieldcp.org